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Long IslandPolitics

Christopher McGrath gets GOP nod for state Senate

Democratic State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, left, and Republican

Democratic State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, left, and Republican Christopher McGrath, right. Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich; Howard Schnapp

Republican Christopher McGrath, who lost a special election last month to fill Dean Skelos’ State Senate seat, will face off in a November rematch against Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach).

McGrath was among the slate of candidates who were nominated Thursday night by the Nassau County Republican Committee at their convention in Levittown.

Kaminsky, then a first-term assemblyman, defeated McGrath, an attorney from Hewlett, by 886 votes in the April 19 special election for Senate.

Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello said McGrath ran an “exceptional” campaign and should perform even better in November with stronger name recognition and GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.

“I thought he did great last time and everyone wanted him to run again,” Mondello said.

Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy predicted Kaminsky would be re-elected in November. “Nassau voters have made it clear that they don’t want another Skelos clone and ally to continue the corrupt status quo in Albany,” he said.

Skelos, the former Senate majority leader, and his son, Adam, were sentenced this month on federal corruption charges to 5 years and 6 1⁄2 years in prison, respectively.

“We’re confident that we are going to win this seat in November for hardworking Nassau County taxpayers and their families who want balance and accountability in Albany,” said Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif. “In Chris McGrath, we have a candidate who can make a strong and principled case against handing over our entire state government to Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Democrats.”

Republicans also nominated Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips for the 7th Senate District seat being vacated by state Sen. Jack Martins, who is running for Congress. Phillips will take on Democrat Adam Haber of East Hills, who lost to Martins in 2014.

Sens. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) and Michael Venditto (R-Oyster Bay) all were nominated to run for re-election.

The GOP also nominated Matthew Varvaro, who served as research director of former New York Gov. George Pataki’s presidential campaign, to run for the 16th Assembly District. The seat is being vacated by Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Port Washington), who is not running for a sixth term.

The GOP also picked Robert Bogle Jr., who worked previously for U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert, to run against Assemb. Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont).

Republicans have yet to pick a candidate in the 20th Assembly District, which was vacated by Kaminsky.

Nassau County Democrats will hold their nominating convention May 25 in Garden City.

With Scott Eidler

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